Midterms are upon us and are seemingly extra ruthless this year.
So, I would like to share some of the ways in which I have been relaxing this fall.
The other night, my roommate whipped out a box from her Trader Joe's bag. She had surprised us all with a box of pumpkin bread mix. I was buried deep into my most recent Freud readings for my upcoming exam, but once I saw that box I knew a break was in order. Instead of over-exerting my mind, I took a half an hour and break to bake with my roommates. It was carefree and simply fun. We all took this as an opportunity to decompress, and to just have stress-free fun with each other. While baking our festive pumpkin bread, we caught up on our days and revisited our countless inside jokes.
If you are overwhelmed, step back and take a moment for yourself or a moment to bond with your roommates by baking a seasonal bread or seasonal cookies. I recommend buying a mix from Trader Joe's, but if you have several hours for recreation, go for a bread from scratch!
This may sound strange, but one of my other favorite ways to decompress from an overly stimulating day or week is by deep cleaning my living space. Over the weekend, I had ample free time on Saturday night. What did I do with this free weekend evening? Why, I cleaned the dust out of my bedside fan for over an hour! While my roommates were out, I knew that I needed some time to myself to just chill. I took advantage of this quiet evening by getting my life together vicariously through cleansing my room. I sprayed some lavender-scented disinfectant spray around my room and on my fan and then went to town with some Q-tips. My fan is now dust-free, I am breathing better and my room is the cleanest it has been all year.
I was feeling extra stressed, so I chose to project the tension on the rest of my room by vacuuming the entire apartment followed by wiping the kitchen down with some Lysol wipes. Not only was my psyche satisfied, but my roommates were welcomed back with a sparkling room. While you do not need to wipe down your entire unit, sometimes simply folding your clothes or cleaning your bedroom is just the thing you need to quell your stress.
Watch a movie
Coraline movie nightGiphy
Okay, it is really hard these days to allocate an hour or two to sit and focus on something. However, now that I have a TV in my apartment, I have found myself watching full-length movies much more often. Recently, my roommates and I have been indulging in our favorite spooky films. When I need a long break from the academic grind, I usually turn to Netflix or Hulu and find a nice, relatively mindless film to fixate on and distract me from my inner stress. I recommend bringing back a throwback, like Coraline, for your next fall movie night!
My last suggestion for an activity to lead to a relaxing fall is to decorate your apartment or living space. Personally, I have been purchasing mini pumpkins and gourds from Trader Joe's for just $.70 or $1.00! They are incredibly cheap, and you can decorate them any way that you would like with a Sharpie. Along with setting out some festive gourds and pumpkins, I always make sure we have some fresh flowers in vases around the room. Flowers brighten the space significantly and allow some natural joy to enter the room.
Next time you feel like the world is crashing down around you, take some time for yourself and enjoy some festive fall activities. It is okay to occasionally take that last 20 minutes off of studying in order to make festive memories that you will remember fondly forever.